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John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough

John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough, by Sir Godfrey Kneller, Bt, circa 1690 -NPG 553 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

Later Stuart Portraits Catalogue

John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough

after Sir Godfrey Kneller, Bt
circa 1690
49 1/2 in. x 41 in. (1257 mm x 1041 mm)
NPG 553

This portraitback to top

The original is probably the three-quarter-length at Boughton which lacks the Garter ribbon and of which Rogers observed that the head and pose were likely to derive from the Kneller at Althorp bearing the inscribed date of 1690. [1]
NPG 553 was probably copied after 1702, when Marlborough received the Garter, as was the standing whole-length elaboration now in the United Service and Royal Aero Club, London. [2]
Another three-quarter-length version was on the London art market in 1983, and bust-length versions are at Blenheim (a copy by John Smith [3]), and with the Oxford City council. [4]

Footnotesback to top

1) M. Rogers in T. Murdoch ed., Boughton House, 1992, p 182n3 illus. Exhibited William and Mary, Arts Council, 1950, no.26.
2) Duke of Buckingham; Stowe sale, 24th day, 13 September 1848, lot 314; bought by the United Service Club 1849, see Apollo, XCVII, 1973, pp 592, 598n33, illus. p 587.
3) So described by G. Scharf, Catalogue raisonné; or, A List of the Pictures in Blenheim Palace, 1862, p 46, and Poole, see note 4.
4) Mrs R. L. Poole, Catalogue of Portraits in the possession of the University, Colleges, City and County of Oxford, I, p 249, no.751.

Referenceback to top

Ellis 1843
Sir Henry Ellis, List of Portraits suspended on the Walls of the Eastern Zoological Gallery, British Museum, no.559.

Piper 1963
D. Piper, Catalogue of the Seventeenth Century Portraits in the National Portrait Gallery 1625-1714, 1963, p 217.

Provenanceback to top

Transferred from the British Museum 1879.1

1 The original canvas bears the stencil BM 74.

Exhibitionsback to top

House of Lords 1973–; La Batalla de Almansa, Valencia, 2007, no.33.


This extended catalogue entry is from the National Portrait Gallery collection catalogue: John Ingamells, National Portrait Gallery: Later Stuart Portraits 1685–1714, National Portrait Gallery, 2009, and is as published then. For the most up-to-date details on individual Collection works, we recommend reading the information provided in the Search the Collection results on this website in parallel with this text.

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